- strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; singular: a queer notion of justice.
- of a questionable nature or character; suspicious; shady: Something queer about the language of the prospectus kept investors away.
- not feeling physically right or well; giddy, faint, or qualmish: to feel queer.
- mentally unbalanced or deranged.
- Usually Disparaging and Offensive.(of a person) gay or lesbian.
- noting or relating to a sexual orientation or gender identity that falls outside the heterosexual mainstream or the gender binary: queer subcultures.
- Slang. bad, worthless, or counterfeit.
- to spoil; ruin.
- to put (a person) in a hopeless or disadvantageous situation as to success, favor, etc.
- to jeopardize.
- Disparaging and Offensive.a term used to refer to a a person who is gay or lesbian.
- a person whose sexual orientation or gender identity falls outside the heterosexual mainstream or the gender binary.
- Slang. counterfeit money.
- queer the pitch, British Informal. to spoil the chances of success.
Origin of queer
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- differing from the normal or usual in a way regarded as odd or strange
- suspicious, dubious, or shady
- faint, giddy, or queasy
- informal, taboo homosexual
- informal odd or unbalanced mentally; eccentric or slightly mad
- slang worthless or counterfeit
- informal, taboo a homosexual, usually a male
- to spoil or thwart (esp in the phrase queer someone's pitch)
- to put in a difficult or dangerous position
Word Origin and History for queerness
c.1500, "strange, peculiar, eccentric," from Scottish, perhaps from Low German (Brunswick dialect) queer "oblique, off-center," related to German quer "oblique, perverse, odd," from Old High German twerh "oblique," from PIE root *terkw- "to turn, twist, wind" (see thwart (adv.)).
Sense of "homosexual" first recorded 1922; the noun in this sense is 1935, from the adjective. Related: Queerly. Queer studies as an academic discipline attested from 1994.
"to spoil, ruin," 1812, from queer (adj.). Related: Queered; queering. Earlier it meant "to puzzle, ridicule, cheat" (1790). To queer the pitch (1846) is in reference to the patter of an itinerant tradesman or showman (see pitch (n.1)).
These wanderers, and those who are still seen occasionally in the back streets of the metropolis, are said to 'go a-pitching ;' the spot they select for their performance is their 'pitch,' and any interruption of their feats, such as an accident, or the interference of a policeman, is said to 'queer the pitch,'--in other words, to spoil it. [Thomas Frost, "Circus Life and Circus Celebrities," London, 1875]